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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 23, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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all of these measures, the crises is different and we must remain one step ahead company steps ahead. ebola as an extraordinary disease has precipitated all actions of sierra leone, including the public health -- [inaudible] gently managed by development partners, national authorities. ..
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denial and these aspects are a priority, we still have a lot more to do. having an explanation spread. so today, 1,571. confirmed dead 483. 50% of these are women. children are very much affected. importantly even the health facilities, a lot of those.
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healthcaretakers have all gone. the international community and united nations, and consolidation and peace. and in a building, the economy, building the lives of people during the war. and joined to celebrate the review. and probably from the bbc. today we are in a different capacity. all are again particularly if we
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are not careful, systemic challenges. not only for australia, libya or guinea. it is challenging incapacities. that is why i fully appreciate the parsing of this resolution to date. a parter resolution is not the end because of that means on end. actualized resolution. and accuracy, appropriateness and the flow of funds and support. in making it very effective.
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dedicated a, and rarely sees those to provide these countries the type of response and intervention. at this juncture, two suggestions. three countries. and structuring the public health care sectors. since being constructed and constructed as told. not send out for control. for that nature. approaching the people's republic of china, for the use
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or transmission of modern or modern -- and control. the country in the continent of africa. the countries have the centers for disease control. i would like the security council to provide the people's republic of china. and facilities. and in africa, and -- all of us that there.
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we need a centralized institution to take knowledge forward. and the people's republic of china. the fabric has already been made by china in constructing and in the vicinity of the hospital and as a holding center. and the united kingdom also for use of this building. and another system, i do believe as we go about constructing interests, the challenge going forward would be having a center for disease control.
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would like to appeal the institutions, who have been affected by remarks -- the people of sierra leone. there's a saying when a mind is drowning, it would be the sharpest place. and the party. all the business to show, taken -- the media. simply because of the time we
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had a patient. and lack of understanding of hospitals. that is the reality. i also want to appeal another surprise general assembly discussions overshadowed by discussions on ebola. it is very appropriate. and the general assembly discussions, clear to come up with definite conclusions on how not only to contain the spread of ebola but how to treat ebola and how to move forward.
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two panic reactions. and the arraignments. from liberia and guinea. so go back to normalcy. and different countries. in the not too distant future. thank you. >> november 15th marks the beginning of the second open enrollment period of the affordable care act. health and human services secretary will be at the brookings institution to talk about implementing the health care law. at 1:30 eastern on c-span. >> the 2015 c-span student can video competition is under way
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open to all middle and high school students to create a 5 to 7 minute documentary. showing how a policy, law or action about the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the federal government in the community. 200 cash prizes for students and teachers totaling one hundred thousand dollars for the list of rules to get started go to studentham.org. >> according to a report submitted to the house foreign affairs committee hundreds of european citizens are fighting for islamist groups in syria. next to the subcommittee in europe, eurasia and emerging threats looks at the potential for these citizens to return to the home countries to commit terrorist attacks. this hearing is just over an hour.
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>> hy call this hearing to order. this is a subcommitteei call th. this is a subcommittee on europe, emerging threats and we will discuss any waiting for the europe which is an area we are focusing on but it is also an emerging threat to the world. going to handled things differently for this hearing, i am going to ask my ranking member if he would move forward with his opening statement. the chairman of the committee, i will ask my colleagues for opening statements as well. i yield them to mr. keating. >> this important and timely hearing. i think our steamed witnesses
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including -- and we have a long history in massachusetts, so happy to see his legacy testifying before us today. and geographic proximity of europe conflict zone. and premier recruitment tools, expanding reach far into europe and the united states. these tools are cheap, ineffective and even the group like isil which has resources, for this reason the nexus of our counter terrorism strategy to focus on various assets of their recruitment and tooth -- this is the root of the problem for
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decades. and the transatlantic and regional partner. and as of this month of 12,000 individuals who travel to siriusxm su thousand 11 to support armed militants there. and a thousand european citizens and hundred americans. the other estimates from our allies overseas expect these numbers to be even higher. the barometer for what may come and we must continue to work closely with european partners and find ways to facilitate better information sharing and communication. the fbi and other intelligence agencies are already working with domestic and international partners to track for insiders travelling to the middle east. such interagency cooperation and information sharing will
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undoubtedly put to the tests as agencies seek to coordinate the threat across international boundaries. for this reason i for one will continue to be a strong advocate from incorporating local law enforcement and the free market utilizing the multiplier effect. as i mentioned earlier there is a larger piece of the puzzle. the mindset and recruitment of these militants who come to western nations to julian little games that go on to rape, kill and divide thousands if not millions comes to bear. as a trans-atlantic community we can only fight the war of terrorism by determining its causes in devising appropriate countermeasures. in particular the message is being promoted the heritage and varied cultural history of the middle east and north africa will be important to helping young people to find their true identities instead of listening to backwards propaganda seeking to destroy that history.
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further, although controversial i think it is important to reassess our partners in this fight. all the countries that have been affected and impacted by foreign fighters and this phenomenon, doing what they can do. the same recruitment and financing. are they protecting those in their own population and region from being coerced and harm from these activities? a true partner in countering radicalism would not only do what they can do to curtail such activities from taking place abroad but would have zero tolerance for extremism to go unchecked at home as well. these are important questions when evaluating the capabilities of our international partners to in most cases are more prone to attacks by radical groups than we are. radicalization is occurring across the world in rural and urban settings, wealthy and poor communities and among all
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education levels. in the long run we must ensure that its courses of action we pursue are not only targeting terrorist groups but the polarizing policies that often lead to this kind of societal division. further, this must include both genders for it is not only men who take up arms but women who claim it into bowls and a stabilization and organization of society within isil and other extremist groups. muslim women in particular are growing up in increasingly conservative, closed environments and this will have an effect on future generations. the subject of today's hearing is of utmost concern to our and national security and i look forward to hearing each of our witness's perspectives on this timely issue and with that i thank the chairman a yield back. >> thank you very much. this morning's hearing is on the emerging threat of islam born fighters going to syria and
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iraq, specific threat they pose when they seek to return to europe and how does that impact us in the united states as well? in 2011 the syrian people rose up in revolt against their government over three years later syria has been torn apart by ethnic and sectarian strife. it is an open civil war. radical islamic terrorist groups including al qaeda have taken full advantage of this chaos. possibly as many as 15,000 foreign fighters have entered syria from a round or perhaps 80 different countries to take up arms in this fight. appears that several thousand of those fighters came from europe and hold passports from european
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countries. many of these islamists have joined isil, heinous brittle anti-western terrorist organization that has grown to contest the vast territory in both syria and iraq. in isil we face a terrorist group which controls land and has proven its abilities on the battlefield. it is also one of the richest terrorist groups in the world. they profit from criminal activity, extortion, black-market oil sales and of course the capture or you might say gift of vast amounts of american military equipment that we have generously provided iraq. this is the mega million dollar operation on their part. it is a nightmare to sing about
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the kind of attacks isil could pull off given their financial resources, geographics a havens and their access to so many recruits with western passports. the film the heading of james foley and david haines tells us all that we need to know, that is all we need to know about the intentions of this terrorist organization. the terrorists holding the knife, the terrorists holding the knife in the be heading videos spoke with a british accent. that indicates the magnitude of the security challenge that we face. we have already begun to see the threat of terrorism emanating from syria. this week a yemen born
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naturalized american citizen was indicted for attempting to provide support to isil in new york state. dozens of people have been arrested just this week in australia and in the balkans in connection to plots to aid isil and conduct terrorist attacks in the west. the words terrorist attacks in the west are perhaps bill little too soft. we should understand what a terrorist attack in the west means are the bodies of brutal tearing apart of the bodies of women and children, civilians, people who just wants to live their lives and this group of other cumin beings for whatever reason they have will at random murder our fellow citizens and people who live in western
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countries, perhaps as we will hear from our witnesses, to hear what motive we are talking about, to terrorize western civilization out of a huge section of the globe. in may a muslim terrorist who held french citizenship and traveled to serious shot and killed four people in the jewish museum in brussels. very ordinary people. could be related to any of us. we hope to learn from panelists why isil's bloody message of hate and violence attracts far too many of european muslims. what are the viable options for european countries in this situation to prevent terrorists from returning home? what attracts them to it and how
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can we prevent them coming to their home countries and conducting this type of horrible murder upon innocent people in our societies? how can we work with our european allies and let me add how can we work with european allies and russia to defend ourselves against this shared threats? finally, let me just note that i think we would do well to learn from europe's immigration experience as we talked about reforming our own laws. this problem is not only counterterrorism but a question of how different people can fit together in a free society. we have a lot to cover so with that i turn to my ranking member who has already been heard from. other members perhaps have short
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opening statements and i yield to judge both. >> isis as you said is a threat that we need to understand, has to be reckoned with. i fear the west especially the united states underestimates them. unlike many terrorist groups they set up governments in northern iraq and syria. they tax the people, govern the community, they have oil and money and are determined fighters and have a lot of american equipment already. the united states for years has supplied equipment to the iraqis and tried to train them and the first encounter with isis in northern iraq they cut and ran. a lot of americans believe they threw down small arms and chemo and took off running. that is not so. this is an m 1 tanks that the iraqi government was given by the united states, confronted
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with isis, they failed and now isis control the tank belonging to american citizens. this is the parade they celebrated after capturing several humvees abandoned by the iraqis we subsidize and at the bottom which to me is the most alarming these are four humvees american made game to the iraqi troops to fight isis and after they cut and ran they were abandoned and now this is on a syrian isis truck headed to syria to fight in syria. we underestimate to these people are. for an fighters for isis are coming back to europe and launching attacks. monday germany held its first trial of alleged german-born jihadists. in may of 2014 terrorist affiliated with isis killed three people at the jewish museum in brussels. british prime minister david cameron said last week there have already been six planned
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terrorist attacks in e.u. countries from isis and the threat won't say in europe as australians of already found out this week because they come from countries where many individuals are able to travel to the u.s.. we have to work with european friends to identify and track for an jihadists fighting in syria. we must convince them that this is a group to be reckoned with. they are a threat to all civilized people. they cannot be allowed to return home to continue there in jihad to. i have introduced h r 406, for terrorist organization passed for revocation act exactly for this purpose, this bill calls for the state department to revoke u.s. passports for individuals who are fighters for any foreign terrorist organization helping to support f t o in many way. american citizens who fight for isis are traitors, benedict arnolds and are not welcome back in the u.s.. with that i yield back.
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>> thank you very much. >> witnesses, i appreciate you being here. this is a very important topic. in lieu of what is going on in our world today, as mr. keating spoke, radical terrorist groups are going around world, it would be wise and prudent for us to address this before it gets worse and we heard reports, suspected reports in this country of things happening. you have to worry, think about the boston marathon bombing. is this the beginning of a wave of things that are unacceptable. in lieu of what is going on in the least we talk about isil coming over here and they said they are coming to america. we have to pay attention and not allow that to happen. they have to be dealt with over in a foreign country. we need to do more here to secure our borders and i would like to hear ideas from you on securing our borders not just the southwest border but all of
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our borders. in addition to the past people with western passports the travel over is there we introduced a bill this week called a terrorist nationality act. sound like other members of done too that will strip citizenship away from people that have no link affiliation with foreign terrorist groups or picked up arms against american citizens or american military. i look forward to hearing suggestions on what we can do to make our country safer. with that i yield back. thank you. >> thank you all very much. we have two great witnesses with us and plan to have a great discussion with you after your testimony. first, thomas joscelyn, a senior fellow with the foundation for defense of democracies. senior editor of the long war journal, a publication which
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tracks counterterrorism issues. he is a widely respected expert on al qaeda and its related groups around the world. he writes and contributes often to the weekly standard and makes guest appearances on television and radio. he has appeared before other foreign affairs committee hearings and we are pleased to welcome him to this subcommittee. also we have with us miss farah pandith, the fisher family fellow at the kennedy school of government at harvard university. she was appointed in 2009 as the first-ever special representative to the muslim community's secretary of state clinton. she worked in that capacity to engage and communicate with muslim communities around the world on behalf of the united states government. for her achievement she was
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awarded secretary's distinguished honor award in 2013. prior to her appointment she held senior positions in the u.s. agency for international development and the state department bureau of european and eurasian affairs. also worked as director of middle east regional initiatives for the security council. she earned a master's degree from fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university. i appreciate the witnesses, and we will hear from -- it is a tossup here. ..
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and what the united states could and should be doing about it. as a political appointee in the george w. bush and obama administrations, i spent a decade working on the impact of extremist ideologies on muslim millennials, especially in europe. i saw firsthand the complex processes by which extremists prey on young muslims. her part local communities threaten stability worldwide. in january i left government with the intention of writing a book that would explain what i have seen and what we can do to win the ideological war against extremism. i firmly believe he can win. i'm a proud american and i know
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firsthand of the many men and women who serve our nation with passion, commitment and steadfast determination to keep us safe from harm. i have been honored to work with and for them. i also know the respect our president has for all faith from both administration and to which i answered can openly state that the hanks acts of terrorists cannot by any means represent the religion of islam. might interest and involvement in the issue of extremism isn't typical. out of college i served in the george h. w. bush administration but left to attend the fletcher school of law and diplomacy but it was there in 1993 i focus on national security and was awarded a grant during a delicate and unstable time. i conducted interviews with militants and began to understand the power of ideology and impact they were having on an older culture, heritage and the way of life. i stayed in massachusetts after
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graduate school but felt the call to serve after the events of 9/11. al-qaeda was trying to define my country and my religion. i could not sit back and watch. for more than a decade since i've worked closely on the issue of extremist ideologies impact on muslims. during my tenure at the national security council, the danish cartoon crisis broke out. in 2006 we found ourselves unprepared for the reality that something that happened in copenhagen could have an effect on the life in kabul. then an assistant secretary for european and eurasian affairs dan freed asked me to serve as a senior advisor to focus solely on muslims in europe, and to help recalibrate the way our embassies engaged with muslims. our country had never had that position, and ambassador freed understood how vital it was that we reach out more boldly to muslims in europe, gain an understanding of the diversity of expenses and analyze the impact on them of extremist
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narratives. for two years i traveled across europe and met with muslim communities hitting two doubles happening within communities. and between generations and ethnicities. to push back against the extremist narratives receive several pathbreaking initiatives that try to address the ideological threat owned by extremist. these initiatives identified credible voices within muslim communities, and by partnering with and supporting them help them to wield great influence among young muslims. susceptible to these extremist messages. several of these initiatives such as sisters against violent extremism continue operate today independent of the u.s. government. the most vital fact i gleaned from thousands of conversations i had across europe was that muslims youth were having an identity crisis and a were searching for answers. extremist narratives were
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filling the intellectual vacuum created by this crisis, and governments were ill-equipped to deal with it. a summer dynamic continue to unfold before our eyes with ever more violent and gruesome implications. these groups must be able to appeal emotionally to a young person, eager for meaning and a sense of belonging. this morning i want to make five-point lead to foreign fighters, the threat to us and what america could be doing to fight back. first, both men and women are at risk today. just yesterday we saw in the new report that an austrian teenager who joined isil is not pregnant. the presence of female recruits represents a new and important change in the extremist landscape. second, policymakers should be concerned not just with individuals who leave their home country to fight in the middle east and elsewhere, but with the ideology that continues to spread among those left behind.
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third, european civilization does not construct national identities in a uniform way. as a result we must be local and nuanced in her policy approaches. fourth, we can win the ideological war with extremism by investing significantly in soft power. fifth, three boards in europe don't represent the whole story. three ideas bounce around the world online keeping the cycle of hatred churning, but free idea could also potentially feed and more virtuous cycle of peace and respect for others. with coordinated and comprehensive attention we can dramatically change the patterns of discourse within muslim communities, with positive consequences for europe, united states and our allies. extremist ideology is the greatest threat of our time. the generation at risk is global, and digitally connected.
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it is time we addressed the ideological threat head-on, and stop the recruitment from happening. this is winnable if we behave smartly, proactively, and creatively. thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you. >> thank you very much. that was very thoughtful testimony and that sure we'll have some serious questions for you. and now to our next witness and senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracy. you may proceed, mr. joscelyn. >> thank you for having me here today to talk about this issue. we've been tracking the issue of foreign fighters going to syria for a while now, here's ago, about two early late 2011, 2012 for its stunning to me today with more foreign fighters in syria and were in afghanistan during the height of the jihad
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against the soviets. that's an incredible metric if you think about it. this creates all sorts of sturdy challenges of course. i have a nuanced view of this. we are right to be concerned about the threat of foreign fighters pose to the threat and the possibilities of using terrorist attacks. most of them will not come back our way but most of them will remain invested in the fight in iraq and syria. some of them will become disillusioned. and for those, some can become partners force and surf counter messaging. basically dispel the mythology that jihad injury to some grandiose request that they can become sort of our messengers in europe and the west to tell people going off to fight in syria is not as great as the recruiters make it sound out to be. however, i want to say this but as the number of foreign fighters increases, there are two main problems. one, you can have sort of the act of violence like the music in brussels that you mentioned where we don't know if it's under direction of any senior
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terrorist or not but it still insist that you can have somebody who's would not as a psychopath the kovacs -- they can go back to your. to your point, identifying these individuals traveling around, he travel also europe before the attack and yet been identified by french intelligence in 2013 as a risk and was able to move around quite freely up until that day. we have that sort of threat. the second level of threat is a more nuanced one i would think we have to think about. think back to pre-9/11 afghanistan, between 10 and 20,000 recruits went to al-qaeda's training camps in afghanistan. what al-qaeda was and was there trying to identify sort of the most talented and most dedicated recruits to repurpose for attacks on the west and that's gave us the hamburg trial in germany, i individuals identified as being totally committed, skilled and someone who could train to fly planes
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into dualistic what's interesting is those recruits who traveled to afghanistan where one in chechnya by the russian government. they were recruited originally to go fly planes into buildings in the u.s. this is how we jihad and afghanistan are as well can be repurposed quickly and come back at us. so as the level of foreign fighters increases what happens is the skills, the guys who i'm really worried about, are basically sifting through a pile to figure who is the best use against us to reduce officials say the islamic state as opposed an imminent threat to u.s. homeland entrance of catastrophic attacks. the consensus seems to be that they don't, are not able to play a terrorist threat at the moment. i would posit on the. history tells us that these threats evolve very, very quickly. al-qaeda in the peninsula from an original national surgery breast threat against the u.s. homeland in a matter of basically nine months. there's a lot we don't know. we didn't know lead sheikh
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mohamoud, the mastermind of 9/11, was, in fact, an al-qaeda operative until several months after 9/11. what worries me is what we don't know about this. we know the intent is there and just because we don't think they have the ability to attack and a catastrophic way right now doesn't mean they won't be able to in the near future. but finally i'll say this. everybody is rightly concerned about isil and the threat, it's sort of amazing to watch the rampage across the nation states. but he didn't have a slightly different view. i think the greater near-term threat to us is actually al-qaeda operatives in syria right now the u.s. intelligence are worried about planning catastrophic attacks against us. these are guys were embedded with our newsroom, an official branch of a kind and his arrival of the isil in sensory today. -- al-nusra. it's not just isil.
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within our misery of operatives who were dispatched by the head of a parent to syria and what they're doing is very carefully sorting through the pile of european and western recruits to figure out who they can use a convert 9/11. that's a bigger near-term concern i think in terms of big spectacular terrorist attacks. big problem there, al-nusra is deeply embedded within \street/{-|}street insurgency against the assad regime are very popular amongst other rebels. i realized yesterday think there's a big vote of course on funding and training the rebels. my one caveat there is we've got to be worked about how those rubbles indirect with al-nusra. they are not isil pick their imposed by isil, opposed to assad and his they are al-qaeda. so this is very complicated game we have to play and be worried about. i a lot of discussion about that and i'm worried about that. it doesn't mean -- it's just my own sort of weird be very careful about how we do it.
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we continue the border in question may be. finally, back to your point about these are groups traveling. there was a suicide bomber this year who blew himself up, an american. p. actually, this is again one of things that worries me. he managed to travel to and from his own in florida from the jihad in syria as is basically being indoctrinated and recruited to blow himself up in syria. jabhat al-nusra decide not to use of an attack against the west but you can bet that they learned from our get in and out of the country what, use the information in the future. that's how i think we should be thinking about that. thank you. >> well, thank both of you for providing us the testimony. i will turn to bite ranking member and i would just start things off. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both very testimony.
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we are seeing in a continuum from the inception of ideology how they're practically tearing many of these things ou that the that was very clear in both of your testimonies, and i appreciate that. i want to focus in for a moment on a shared commitment i have with the administration, to strengthen women's rights globally and to our women and their families in transitional societies such as iraq. and part of that is semi-ideological flourishing occurring within families. chairman royce and i myself held a hearing on important of women in battling violent extremism, and the name that you mentioned, in terms of sisters against violent extremism came a. i negative test on it in your testimony. women are the first educators of their children. they are in a unique position,
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despite signs of radicalization and extremism. they are also in a pivotal position to try and deal with it. i think we have to empower women to recognize it, to recognize the signs and given to us as how to deal with it. but could you comment on the sisters against violent extremism and the overall effort to try and use women more effectively and mothers more effectively in the fight against extremism and to really quash this ideological -- >> thank you very much for that question. i talk a lot about the ideology and where it stands that they don't mean to -- i don't need to explain how important how family this. the confusion, asking questions, these millennials are expressing something that no other generation has experienced. in the context of a post-9/11 world that's what i said the numbers are massive. one-fourth of the plan is
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muslim. 1.6 billion people, 62% of that number is under the age of 30. these are millennials that have grown up looking at the light in a very different way. everybody has an identity crisis, no matter what religion you are. is something specific is happening to the generation that has grown up in the context of 9/11 asking questions that their parents and grandparents didn't ask. and as they are dealing with this, they're looking for answers and the answers they always go to are not traditional necessarily. it isn't the cleric necessary. it is not the elder person in the village town or city. it is a shaker answers on these questions for them. the reason why women are important is for two reasons. one, as you said, the mothers are the first the child's first teacher. they're seeing things, there
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seemed changes have been together looking at some of these radicalization processes and to go back and to talk to the parents, they have seen signs, mothers talk about things they have seen. the influence of the ecosystem within the home. very, very important. but there's another piece of this and that of these of this is how you use women to mobilize their perspective globally and connect of those things. that's where we begin to look at models that would work on a grassroots level that are very local and are inspired by regular people. it wasn't government coming in and saying something. in the bush administration would look at the model of mothers against drunk driving here in america and say how did that get off the ground, how do we build that? would begin to think about what would happen if we begin to build a net work of like-minded women who could push back against the ideologies and succeeded sisters against violent extremism with an
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incredible woman named edith chaplet in vienna and gave her small seed grant to get this off the ground and faster to move afford. right now all these years later it's an independent organization come has chapters all of the world. hume mobilize and build a network of women to push back, to talk about things, to put the lessons that should learn on the table. that's one piece of the complexity with women and extremism, okay? the other is what's happening to women, that's the of the piece if you would mind, i would just spend a moment -- >> i think that was my second question. >> okay. so in my role as special represent the muslim communities i'm one of the most -- one of the most impressive points me was what i thought had happened in europe, this identity crisis, was not just minorities living in europe but this is happening to muslims and muslim majority questions -- muslim majority countries as well. from malaysia to argentina with
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muslims matter to us. it matters very probably because as people asking these questions as i said, the vacuum is being filled by narratives that come from extremist. that doesn't leave women out of the picture. these are digital natives, connected with the push of the finger on the smartphone. they're getting i guess that are bouncing around the world. what did i see? i begin to see a change in the way this generation of young muslim women into think about themselves, think about the role. so using a two-pronged thing. one, you can absolutely use women come and you should, to stop the stem of radicalization come to understand what's happening in the homes. the other point is we begin to see women getting radicalized. >> that was my question. if i could for a second, there's an irony there i think that many of these groups that place women in anything but high in the level of authority and power. however, you were saying isil and some of these other groups
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use women. not necessarily as soldiers, but you are seeing them use in the social networking and communication and in shaping people's ideology, in countries where some of the people, the average age is 25 years old. so if you just continue, i think that was the second point i wanted to make. >> of course. you are correct, because they're beginning to be mothers themselves. they are raising the children a particular way. they are thinking about the role in society in particular way, either you're going to be open and engage with the outside or you're going to retreat and come back and. so you're looking at data points across the board. you're looking at what they're looking at online, what they're listening to, how they see themselves. it doesn't take a lot of imagination. this summer isis hasn't all women organization. we have iq doing the same thing. of rethink what else comes down
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the pipe, it varies every. >> one point home, mr. chairman, and that's the point even in the boston marathon bombing, it's very clear the effect tamerlan tsarnaev's mother had on his radicalization. i won't comment on sensors a trial pending, on her other son but i will say clearly to tamerlan, that's been true. so mr. chairman, thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you for your thoughtful questioning. mr. yoho. >> again, thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you both for your testimony. and ms. pandith, i think -- i for i think you're right on. we are seeing this happening right now. using most of the radicals don't come back. we don't need most of the but if you go back and we all know there's only 19 people and they had i think $500,000 but they were able to change we are quickly. the organizations have become
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more coalesced. and what i've seen and correct me if i'm wrong, an escalation of the amount of radical groups and i see them coalescing into a stronger force, well-organized, well-funded. with isil supposedly getting $3.5 billion a day in the sale of oil on the black market. we're just going to see more and more of that. and in this meeting room here, five, six months ago we had a group that was representing somalians. minnesota is where they were from, and aske i asked them whyy came to minnesota to i was born in minnesota and i was glad, it'it's a great state but it's a little bit too cold for me. so why would the somalians choose minnesota? they said it was for education and jobs. but yet when asked them what percentage of the male population were employed, he said it was very low, high
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unemployment and the crew. what percentage graduate from high school? he said it's very low. and then i went into the questions of how many a practicing muslim? majority, yes. the women don't come to the fall sharia law or u.s. constitutional? he said we'd go with constitutional law but yes, sharia. and then i asked them if they were assimilating and becoming americans, and adapting our ideologies. and he says we're having a real hard time with that. that scares me because we're growing that type of thing that we're seeing now. and as you brought out the person from florida and the person from minnesota going over and becoming radical jihad. we have to have a way -- and this goes back to the bigger problem with our immigration policy. i think we are all, we all want responsible immigration but we have to do it right. to bring people over here. but going back to the isil
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threat, moving the passports from these people, one of the questions i have is if we remove these passports -- i lost my train of thought here. how can the u.s. help our european allies defend themselves from the threat of these returning foreign fighters? you know, they've got a western passport, they can go over there and come back. if they are u.s. citizen, and i think britain has already started to take these passports away, is that right? >> that sounds right. britain has a number of security restrictions they can put in place. >> okay. with that i'm going to yield back, and mr. chairman, i appreciate your time. >> well, thank you very much. a couple questions. are these the uneducated, overseas, are these the uneducated people of the lower
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classes who can't get jobs? or are they like bin laden from the upper crust who are actually very well educated and not necessarily just the product of modern schools, but instead people who know the choices and have made the choice that their religion is better than everybody else's? >> it cuts across socioeconomic boundaries but it's not easy to typify your recruit in that regard. to look at against the common example of the suicide hijack pilots on 9/11 the highly educated, come from good families. you fight is over and over and over again. it's the strength of the ideology that binds them together and not necessary any socioeconomic factors spent let me note before we move on, and that is that it is vitally
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important that we did not try to lump all muslims into the category of terrorists. otherwise we're doing exactly what the terrorists want us to do, which is create a dichotomy between the western world and all muslims, and thus expand dramatically their strength and potential danger. so we should make sure we reach out. and again, this is, ms. pandith, how -- you were talking about perhaps identity crisis. do you think that there's a real threat that we could have an overreach here and push muslims into the radical terrorism camp? and the see that happening at all? >> so i think one of the things that's important for us to understand is what we've learned
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over 13 years, to look at radicalization process, what's happening in communities, what government can do, what communities can do. have the strength and weaknesses have played out over the course of 13 years. you asked a really important question about who are these people, you know, how well educated are they, where do they come from? one of things as talking about in my testament is a nuanced approach to understand the distinction within, certainly here today we're talking about europe. which generation of we talking about? which ethnicities are we talking about? how are they look at the particular issues they're dealing with? the success is going to come from the committee level. and if you look at the responses across europe and our now governments are looking at the threat, there is a wide range of reaction to this growing problem but when you're looking forward, when you're looking at a distance opportunities for
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recruitment, we have to start with the immediate family. we have to start with the communities, and we have to make sure that the communities are getting information about what we've learned, about how recruitment happens, that we are looking at all of these issues and not sort of separating the immediate, just that having the threat -- >> you know, i have to say the world has faced many different challenges from a murderous groups over the history of the planet, and muslim extremism, or i should say, you know, and perhaps i know a lot of muslims don't even like the word, islam associated with radicalism, but a lot of us are having trouble with it. we want to be respectful of the faith but we can't help but notice that people are murdering people are doing so in the name of their faith. and it really pulls on a lot of us because we know. i mean, i know many muslim people are wonderful people, and
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would never dream of that. i don't think the faces doing -- their faith is doing anything but obviously those people who we are doing now identify the islamic faith, the muslim faith as the motivator that is motivating them to do that. they are announcing that to the world. and i'm not sure, and again after listening to your testimony, you know, 50 years ago, and 60 years ago the world was threatened by these nazis who had no muslim connection at all who were basically came from a christian country, and japanese militarism which had its own, you could identify their religion that they were part of that glorified their ancestors, especially who were very military successful ancestors but you could see that direct line, but i don't, to be
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fair about it, i don't think that the greatest generation that we call in the united states spent time trying to psychoanalyze why people became nazis, or why people, white people in japan backed up their militarist wing it recently went out and had to defeat them. i think maybe that's what we are at now, that we want to understand as you were saying, these muslim people who are involved with the radical terrorist elements, respecting the fact that most muslims are not that way, but the job now is not some long-term analyst, but instead to try to defeat this evil force that would murder our families. and maybe you both would have a comment on that. >> tragedy i just respond to what you are saying? in terms of the threats that our world has faced, you very nicely
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pointed out the two ideological examples. .. i happen to believe, and we all agree, yes our european friends are going to bear the brunt. but we are just the very next
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step away from their and our children and our families are going to be at stake. mr. joscelyn? >> well, i don't think it is necessarily an either/or. i agree we need to defeat them militarily. the jihadist ideology needs militarily successes in order to recruit. they will keep saying they are the strong horse people need to side with. i find someone who studied bin laden and al-zawahiri very carefully we still don't understand what they were about. the 9/11 terrorist attacks were not an end in of themselves. they were trying to spark a political revolution among muslims in the world. according to al qaeda's theory of the world muslims were not longer waging jihad like they were supposed to. he needed to revive the jihadi spirit across the muslim world. this becomes very much a
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idealogical battle because if you look very much what they were trying to do, in fact the bin laden was a student of the chinese game and once you surround the pieces and they become your pieces and deploy them. that is political revolutionary how to convert muslims to his cause and that is what al qaeda has been all about. many of their violence killed fellow must lips. that is strateconomic liability not only al qaeda but isil. we should be talking about the threat to the west and we should be, if the look at isil body count right now a lot of muslims throughout syrian and iraq and only a few westerners. i've seen, you talk about the beheading videos of james foley and steven sotloff, galvanized into action. i watches hundreds of syrians and muslims behead and our allies getting killed that. is the idealogical battle. in the military battle,
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congressman, we need to figure out who our allies are. we have a lot of muslim allies and we need to identify them in this contest. >> that is, really both of you made very good.today. the idea keeping in mind there have been more muslims murdered by these, by the people that threaten us today than have anglos or european background people, although obviously we are concerned about the safety of our families. that is, that is our job here to make ultimately to be concerned about our families. and hopefully, our fellow americans of the, and i would hope that we challenged, all of us challenge all of them to step up and back then up in their communities when they take a stand against these, these type of extremists that would murder our fellow human beings. i, i was shocked when several
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organizations that i read some flyers from them suggesting, several muslim organizations in the united states was suggesting that their people not cooperate with the fbi. i don't know, mr. keenan, i don't know if you have seen that or not but i certainly saw a couple of handouts indicating, i won't nape the group because maybe it is unfair to that group. maybe that only reflected one or two people in the group who took advantage of the situation but we've challenged our fellow americans who are muslims to join us and help us win this battle and, because, as we're learning today, it is, a, what is happening in syria is going to be a wave that hits us here in the united states and is already beginning to be felt in europe. let me ask mr. joscelyn about
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the shared threat that we have with our european allies but do we not also share this threat, i mentioned this in my opening statement, do we not share this threat with russia and should we not cooperate with russia? mr. keating and i actually went to moscow and met with their intelligence operatives and got a briefing on those people who were involved with the bombing in boston, boston marathon. >> well, i will preface this there are a lot of ways which our interests with russia are obviously not consistent. we have divergent interests across the board i would say. but to your point if you study who is in syria, the chechen jihadists in syria now. these are not freedom fighters. they're deeply opposed to the russian government. they're hostile to us. they're on isil's side or al qaeda's side in syria. this hearing is happening
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because of al qaeda's military grained in iraq and syria. one of the top commanders is chechen. he is actually the one who really gave them their military victories in eastern syria which opened up the pathway into iraq. so the chechen jihadists are the most committed i would say, skilled, and often times tacticians in this fight. they are threat to russia. they are a threat to our interests. so in that sense there is a common thread there. you know one of the interesting things we were talking about the radicalization of women. well one of the biggest examples of that is the chechen black widows who committed terrorist attacks in moscow. these are widows of fallen jihadists who go on to become suicide bombers in operations there. so there is a common bond at least in that narrow sense in terms of the chechen jihadists. the other witness shaking her head. would you like to add to that? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i also wanted to say and made a very good point to push back the ideology of extremists. what you've seen in the last 13 years since 9/11 is the increase in voices pushing back coming from the muslim communities and you're seeing new networks. you're seeing networks of former extremists built to push back. that needs to be ramped up. those are the voices that matter. those are the credible voices. to your point about russia and the black widow example that my colleague has just raised, that's, to me that is a great illustration of the worst-case scenario but what we ought to be looking at is not when it is the tip of the iceberg, but what is actually percolating, what is actually happening to get them there? that's where we have to stem and cut the radicalization process. if you don't have recruits, you will not have armies. >> i can't, to be fair, i can not understand why a religious
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extremist group that would, appears on its surface to be so anti-the freedom of women, and so oppressive in terms of saying that women have to wear a garment and hide themselves and look out a little slit, can't drive cars, can't have regular jobs, i do not, i can't comprehend how there would be women joining the ranks of people like, who held those beliefs in order to try to create a society based on those standards. >> mr. chairman, there are lots of reasons why the women are joining the fight and i know that there not just one or two that are prominent. there are many. on of which include, some of the married people, people who are there want to be part of that ecosystem. some want to race children so they're creating next army. some do it because they're ideological, they're so invested
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in the ideology of building a so-called caliphate they want to be part of this and want to live there. there are many reasons why but their sense of belonging in terms of where they are, if you look at two teenage girls from austria, ran away from home to join chechen jihadis, this is an illustration of the kind of things that are happening. how is it possible that two young germs who brew up in an open and free environment chose to do that? how did they get radicalized? what were they looking at online that moved them in that direction. the last point i would say, the other role women are playing is enticement role. if you have somebody on other end of a youtube video or chat room that is eager to bring women on board and your another woman in her voice calling them in it is very persuasive. >> obviously we face a major challenge and not just with democrats and republicans
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uniting, the face of a foreign challenge but also people of various religious faiths including the muslim community and christian community and jewish community here in the united states and elsewhere we need to have some unity behind this to help save mankind from this senseless murder of innocent people and, when we talk about people being terrorists, their purpose is to terrorize and that means to win the battle through terrorizing a population to letting them achieve their goal through that terror. we americans are, we americans are not going to be terrorized into giving up our rights and our freedom and our ability to be part of the world and i don't, i think we need to stand with our european allies in this, especially our al lease in the muslim world who are being
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killed and murdered at a much higher rate. closing statement from mr. keating, mr. yoho. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think what was interesting with this hearing among many things was how we were dealing with how this radicalization occurs, the stemming of it, how it is nurtured and i think we don't put enough emphasis and we have to. we can't just do it in the u.s. we have to do it in europe and certainly the middle east. i look at the examples of what they're doing and how sophisticated they are doing things. they're actually making great efforts, whether it is isil or other radicalized groups associated with al qaeda. they're destroying muslim history in many senses, not just orally and passing it on but actually you there the destruction of artifacts of
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deinstruction of antiquities and profiting from the sale of those to fuel their cause but in the process they're destroying and creating a new narrative of their own that is not historical, it is not traditional and it is not religious so we touched on that. as we go forward i think that is something we should put greater emphasis on. i want to thank our two witnesses for touching on those things today in their testimony. >> thank you, mr. keating and mr. yoho. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you both. as we were talking about, and i'm sure you read the book by samuel hundreding ton, the clash of civilizations, talking about the majority of the conflict in the world is muslim to muslim, but when you insert the werner, they come together to become the common enemy. how come from the growth of westernism, hatred of west and ideals and freedom versus the western foreign policy, are they
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connected in your opinion. >> i would say the ideology is deeply anti-western. a lot of times they view our foreign policy in conspiratorial end. we are on the side of muslims in the 1990s, usama bin laden was able to rationalize critique of u.s. policy because we didn't arms to muslim forces quick enough. it more idealogical than anti-western or foreign policy-driven. >> miss, pandith, is that right? girls in australia? were they born there or muslim descent? >> it was australia. i'm sorry if i misspoke. i believe they were born there. i have can double-check for you to get back with you on that point. >> what i see is the lone wolf starting to in this country, that mohammed brown who supposedly murdered four
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american men in the name of jihad against the west. and we just don't want to see that over here. so i look forward to dealing with you in the future to help. >> pleasure. >> design policies that will prevent this thank you both. have a great weekend. >> i want to thank the witnesses, thank my fellow colleagues. the american people need to know that we are taking this very seriously. that that there is a threat, an emerging threat with this pat he will that is raging in syria. it will impact on our society rand our safety. -- and our safety. we have to pay attention to it. what the people in europe are now beginning to experience, those people coming back from this conflict, we will experience as well. the wave will hit us. and, it is, what we do about it,
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we have to use our heads but we have to be courageous and and again, we need to make sure that all americans, including muslim americans, are recruited in this effort. so, want to thank the witnesses and i, this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations].
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[inaudible conversations]. >> former virginia senator jim webb speaks today at the national press club. he has been visiting iowa and new hampshire, fueling speculation he may run for president in 2016. you can see his remarks live at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. the supreme court's new term begins in october. some of the upcoming cases include racial gerrymandering of congressional districts whistle-blower protections and freedom of prisoners.
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they join ad panel of law professors for a preview from the wilson center. >> okay. carry on. >> good afternoon. welcome to the aba division for public education's on the docket supreme court program hosted in partnership at the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. i'm gary! man, the chairman of the! man. slayman. this is flagship publication of the aba, division of public education. has been for decades, only resource to provide detailed analysis of each case before the supreme court, prior to oral augmented. each issue, highlights main issues before the court in the way that lawyers and non-lawyers alike can understand. the preview board is delighted to welcome you to on the docket, the division of education's annual supreme court panel. we are excited to be hosting
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this program once again in partnership with the woodrow wilson center. today we assemble ad great panel to understand the significance of the october 2014 term and give us inkling how some headline cases for the upcoming term well play out. our moderator will introduce each of our panelists. i would like to say something about our moderator, myself. john miluski is a great friend of this program for many years. a veteran broadcast journalist and communications professional with extensive experience as a moderators, interviewer, anchor, producer and reporter. he is currently the director of digital programing for the wood dewilson center for scholars. john, thank you for your generous support for our perhaps and for having us here at the woodrow wilson center. >> thank you, gary. thanks to everyone for joining us as well. let me also welcome you to the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. just curious, how many have been
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here before? oh, great, a lot of returnees? those coming first time, special welcome hope you come back. this is the nation's official and living memorial to its 228th president, woodrow wilson who had something very unique about him no other president can claim. not that he was a lawyer. a lot of presidents are lawyers. everyone know what it is? >> he was hpd. >> yes, ma'am. the only u.s. president to be a phd. welcome to the wilson center for annual on the docket program. a great pleasure to work with the aba division for public education, as do such terrific job bringing a-list guest list to the event. you will know a lot more about the coming term than when you when you leave this room i can guaranty that. you all picked up one of these when you came in, previews. a terrific resource. it has detailed bios of other
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panel. i will give the short panel, for those people not in the room, joining us via webcast and c-span2 are unable to pick up a copy in this room but find it on line. let me introduce you from left to right. joining sus neal katyal. he is a partner at cases before the supreme court. mower on the way. previously served as acting solicitor general of the united states. he also served as a law professor at 15 years, georgetown university law center, before the age of 21, is that correct? also with us, leslie kendrick. leslie is a professor of law at university of virginia school of law where her primary research focus is freedom of expression. she will be talking about first amendment cases today. prior to joining us. va she clerked for u.s. supreme court justice david souter. also joining us is janay wilson.
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associate director of counsel for naacp education for defense and. she was associate director of the ron halted h peed brown center for civil rights and development at st. jobs university school of law. steven wormeal is fellow with law and government of american university washington college of law. coauthor after biography of justice brin none and blogger for scotusblog and welcome our panel to today's discussion. [applause] let me tell you a little bit about the format. those who have been here before we asked each of our panelists to provide briefings, something they're very good at on variety of upcoming cases. in other cases by category and others by free form. when each panelist it does that and we'll engage him oar her to
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for discussion of cases. then we'll turn for you for questions or comments. let me begin with a general question about the state of the court. is the court currently either more political than it has ever been or less political than it has ever been, or, sr. where in the average. order by introduction. neal. >> i have strong views about this and wrote about them in an op-ed for "the new york times" in june. if you look at last term of roberts court. it has never happened, shouldn't say never, in most of our lifetimes that it ever happened that the court agreed unanimously in roughly 2/3 of case it is heard. indeed only 25 decisions decided last year that were not unanimous. so 2/3, you have to go back to 1940 to find another supreme court term like that. so when you read the newspapers and the supreme court bitterly divided and partisan, there is certainly some of that. certainly elections have consequences but i do think one thing we're seeing with the roberts court is a real striking
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emphasis on unanimity. i think it is fitting that we're talking about it here at the wilson center which is of course to devoted to kind of non-partisan, true, engagement with ideas. i think the court is looking over at congress and seeing something a little bit dysfunctional and folks who can't get anything done and can't agree on anything and fighting about the small things and i think the roberts court is saying, look we'll certainly have disagreements on the big hot button cases but can we find common ground? they did in 2/3 of cases, including massive cases that affect you and me every day like cell phone privacy. >> in a way the court is looking to congress for inspiration of a sort. leslie. >> i think these comparisons are really hard to do. and to neal's point about the amount of unanimity i think it doesn't take that many hot button cases where people see a really divided court, for that to be the impression that people take away.
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i remember when i was clerking, there was a case, one of, one of the parties involved in it was john sand and gravel. i remember thinking a surprising amount of supreme court docket is sand and gravel. it is not very interesting to most people. not very hot button cases that really need an answer and they provide one and they can do that extremely well but it doesn't doesn't take that many cases for fire work to be make people pay attention to. in the context with a few cases that are very hot button, it is easy to say that this is more political the court has been in the past when we don't have a sense how much fire works is happening in the past because those are settled questions for us now. it is hard to make the comparison. >> janay, what do you think. >> i think it is very difficult to contextual eyes it. i apologize for my court. number of cases supreme court is
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dipping every time. every time they open for a new term we see a shrinking docket. much therefore number of unanimous decisions that chief just tis roberts has been able to coalesce among the justices is impressive. but there are much smaller number of cases. >> does less cases equal more agreement historically speaking? >> also the kind of cases that the court is taking. i absolutely agree, some are the mundane, run-of-the-mill, circuit splits that need some resolution but not creating law that is jaw-dropping and others are the big jaw-dropping cases and i think cell phone case is good one to point to where you eunanimity. i wonder what are we losing with that unanimity. to say whether it is more or less political we have to think about what is being cut out of the edges to create a more consensus opinion and that is in of itself could be political. >> like a family having a rule never to discuss religion and
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politics at dinner table so we can all get along. yeah. steve? >> i would make two appointment i think there is a lot of unanimity but i think some of the the unanimity is elusive. the cell phone case the court did a good job narrowing the issue to something all nine of them could agree on but it is not the last cell phone case we'll see and next time it cops back it won't be unanimous because they masked some of the disagreements and i think they did that in some other cases too. to their credit for trying to find common ground but don't make a mistake thinking it is necessarily all issues are being resolved in that way. the other thing i would say, i agree with neal that i think the court is very cognizant of congress being dysfunctional. but interestingly, one of offshoots of congress being dysfunctional when the court strikes down federal statutes,
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we presume that congress can correct the mistakes in those statutes if they want to. and, dysfunctional congress can't do that. >> you're not painting a picture of a highly partisan undertaking. there is a lot of nuance and shades of gray, but if you hear some critics court particularly around citizens united or mccutcheon you get a very different picture. >> absolutely. there are certain hot button cases. citizens united is one example. dunne wright is another example and perhaps some cases that may come to the court this terp, same-sex marriage and abortion, maybe other ones which you are going to have that amount of disagreement, but having said that striking agreement on things like cell phone privacy, which is a sweeping holding. this is not narrow. this holding affects you and me, as broad as they could have possibly done saying what the government was doing was akin to the general warrants of the founding. it is one of the most significant rulings of the
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supreme court in our lifetimes. that is true about other things as well that have been fully unanimous. patenting human genome and even things with political veil lance, like recent appoint appointments -- recess appointments by president obama, 9-0 saying what president obama did was wrong. they have political consequences what the court is engaged n this court has done something really interesting in trying to find common ground. >> any other thoughts on this before we move on to another topic? what about, let's look back at the last term once before we turn our attention forward to the coming term and is there anything that you would list as the most surprising thing about this court's performance during the last term? there is a predictability on these hot-button issues that have often broken 5-4. neal describe as specific strategy to have unanimous votes on now a record-setting amount of cases in 70 years, at least
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in the last 70 years. is there anything that surprised you? or are we talking about a highly predictable court? >> well i think, i don't want to speak for neal, but i think the cell phone decision was a surprise especially the unanimity of it. recess appointments unanimity was surprising. we know that chief justice roberts says he wants to try to find as much common ground on which all nine can agree but, that doesn't mean they're always going to be able to find it. so sometimes when they do it does kind of catch you off-guard >> janai, what surprised you, if anything? >> i would tend to agree the unanimity on those decision was surprising and chief justice roberts seems to get better and better creating coalition or either the members of the court are getting to know each other in a different way. the newest members, justice
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kagan and sotomayor, seem to be really jibing with the group and there seems to be greater cohesion. i can't say there bass any surprises. maybe this is part of my -- about being some politics on the court. the mccutcheon and these cases are rather predictable. i think there are certain areas where you do find more predictability and so i wasn't terribly surprised. they are two outlyers of unanimous decisions in the cell phone case and recent appointments. >> leslie, what are you about you? cell phone watchers love a surprise. >> the supreme court are going to do what they are going to do and often you can predict where the battle lines are going to be drawn but exactly how they're growing to come down, trying to engage that can be kind of a fool's errand. there were some cases i think were big cases. hobby lobby is a big, big case.
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it could have gone one way or the other based on what a couple of justices thought about privately-held corporations. the result surprising? no, but it is momentous. i think that is probably more important. >> neal? >> for me the most surprising thing about the court is not actually something that happened at the court, but the lawyers arguing before the court, it is not surprising that over the last 10 to 15 years we've seen emergence of a supreme court bar, 71% of arguments done last term, people who already done five or more arguments. here is the striking thing and it's a sad fact. last year 15% of the people who argued at supreme court were women. 15% in the year 2014. that to me is a strikingly dismal figure. i would have thought by this point in time we would see different numbers and it is something i think we all need to think about and certainly those of us in the appellate world need to think about it in our
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hiring and our mentoring. >> thanks. now we'll turn our attention to the coming term. this is where we get into some of the briefings we previewed earlier. this would be high-priced briefings. these are billable hours. these are top-notch people up here. janai, we'll begin with you. the clock will be running. not really but we have ten minutes for this segment but she will talk to us about voting rights cases and give us preview of things that arep coupling. >> i'm glad you said voting rights cases plural. i'm talking about a consolidated case, one is alabama's democratic conference versus alabama and the alabama black legislative conference versus alabama. those two cases were consolidated and this will be the first time that the court has dealt with a voting rights act case since shelby versus holder which is the term before last where the court dealt, what i would say is a devastating blow to the voting rights act of 1965. this case is momentous for a
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number of different reasons and, so far, looking at the petitions that the court has granted cert this will be the election law case of the term unless one of the voting i.d. cases makes its way to the supreme court. certainly wisconsin is vying for that honor. we'll see what happens there. this i think will be the election law case of this term. as you can hear from the themes of the parties there are partisan dimensions to this case and there is also the main issue on the table which is the racial concern. so the alabama democratic conference is in fact a african-american political action committee on the one hand. the other case, the alabama black legislative caucus consists of african-american legislators representatives in the state of alabama and both parties are suing based on a
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republican-led state redistricting map that came out of the 2010 census. so every ten years as you probably know, our states go through this phenomenal process called redistricting where they redraw the legislative districts for state legislatures, for local commissions and even congressional redistricting. this is challenging the state legislative map. as i said this is republican-led legislature and the concern in this case is the way in which they configured the district, particularly how they, how they included minorities in the districts violated the equal protection clause, no matter what level of scrutiny you apply to it, especially if you apply stri scrutiny which you would whenever there is allegation that race played a predominant role in the redistricting. so in a nutshell in 2000, so ten years before the 2010 census, in
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year 2000 this plan was drawn up, creating majority minority districts. it was litigated. it was preserved into the voting rights act and a certain number of majority black districts were created. when the legislature attempted to update that planfollowing the 102010 census, this continued to keep the same percentages of black persons in these majority minority districts as they had in 2000. now on its face that doesn't sound like a preposterous idea or anything that is problematic but if you know about the standard which we judge the legality of majority mine mortgage districts you will realize just rubberstamping or creating a cookie cutter image of the previous plan doesn't necessarily yield a plan that is constitutional or one that is consistent with the voting rights act. so the voting rights act
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requires talking about section five in particular, requires that any change in the voting legislative map must not put minority voters in a worse position. it can't have the intent of doing that and can't have the effect of doing that. we call that process or that measure of determining whether minorities are put in a worse position, we call that retrogression. the plan can not retro guess minority voting rights. in this particular case including same percentages of black population in newer districts the legislature did not take into account the minority voting rights evolved in last ten years. the same 77% black district in 2000, didn't need to exist with such high concentrations of black voters in 2010. that is really the crux of the concern there. there are a few interesting points about this case. first, as i mentioned, this is
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going to be the first time that the court opines on the voting rights act since shelby county versus holder. in that case the court did not strike down section five of the act as i just explained but instead struck down section four of the voting rights act which create ad trigger for which jurisdictions would be covered by section five. so basically it was the formula for deciding which jurisdictions would be subject to this retrogression standard. in striking down section four of the act the court left section five intact but we don't know whether if we're able in fact to create a new section five or section four coverage formula what the court would do with it, how well it would protect it and i think everyone is going to be looking at this case to read the tea leafs on that important question. this is also first time the court will deal with a race-based gerrymander, which
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was the texas mid decade redistricting case and hunt versus cromartie. it has been quite some time since the court doug into these thorny issues or dug into the political thicket to use some of the jargon on issues of racial gerrymandering. the second issue of this case is particularly important is because we are going to understand where the court places the value of compliance with section five. the republican-led legislature as i mentioned created these majority minority districts and said, section five made me do it. the only reason we packed black voters into these districts at such high rates is because, the rates are roughly 65 to 77% in certain districts, the only reason why we did this because we had to comply with the section five of the voting rights act and what, certainly the legal defense fund is
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saying, we said in the amicus brief we filed, section five require as much more nuanced analysis. it requires a district by district analysis of minority voting power, determining how much traditional redistricting criteria played into the legislative redistricting process, how much did race play a predominant factor, all of those particular questions need to be dealt with on a district by district basis. the, so we're really look looking at the contours of the anti-retrogression standard. effectively what we're saying, majority, minority districts can come in all shapes and sizes. it depends on the voters in that community, the communities of interest, general standards like conticty. and all must play a part what is constitutionally viable minority
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majority district and one that would be protected under the act. another interesting tidbit about this case is that the majority minority districts that were created in the 2000 plan that mentioned were challenged by republicans in 2000 when those districts came to pass. and now again, fast forward 10 to 12 years later and the, those same districts are being protected by republican-led legislature and claimed as part of their effort to comply with section five. the naacp legal defense fund where i work, we're a non-partisan group. we are focused only on the ability of minority voters to elect candidates of choice and we submit that certainly by having a high concentration of black voters in these districts, minority voters are in fact losing their ability to elect candidates and have choice in
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the way they could have years ago. how am i doing on time? >> we're a little tight but go ahead please. >> so, let me cut to what i think would be the most problematic decision the court could make. one there are a few options, could remand, say yes, lower court, three-judge panel that dealt with this case in alabama could now revisit this issue and apply the appropriate constitutional standards. it doesn't need to actually decide this issue on its face. there was a standing issue was raised as well. i doubt the court will decide own standing grounds. that is also an avenue. what the court should not do is create a bright line rule as to what is the appropriate percentage for any majority minority district. this is really a fact insensitive inquiry that require as great deal of subtle analysis. that is what we think the court should order and remand to the district court or deal with the
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constitutionality of these districts outright, not create any racial quota. >> your comment about republicans feelings about this then and now, i think politically seems like the problem is gerrymandering, it is who is doing the gerrymandering when it becomes contentious. two men's left for this segment. i want to make your colleagues a chance for quick comment or ask you a quick question about this, if anyone wants to add to this segment before we move on? we're good? that is terrific briefing. when we come to your questions, anything you like to pick up on we'll move through fairly quickly, please, we'll invite you to do that. or any cases we don't flag for you, there is something else you would like to discuss. next up we've asked neal katyal to talk about same-sex marriages, something bound to be another contentious issue in this court and the court seems eager to weigh in. >> i do think this, this set of
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issues is the basically the greatest civil rights issue of our time. and that the court has pending before it seven different petitions raising these questions about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage restrictions. the cases, there are three of them from virginia, there is one from utah, there is one from oklahoma, one from wisconsin and one from indiana. the court is going to consider them, whether to hear the case, any of these cases at all, on september 29th, at their first conference. justices have a nice long summer break, just like schoolchildren. they get a long break. they're actually working quite hard during that break but they actually don't announce any new cases they will hear. so september 29th is the first day when they will take up this really enormously interesting set of questions. the first case that was filed was filed by the state of utah at the u.s. scream court. by word of -- supreme court. by way of disclosure i'm one of
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lawyers along with amazing team of folks across the country on the utah case. so i will stick to the public filings in this case and tell you what it is about. basically, you know, utah has amend amendment three to this constitution which does a few things t restricts marriage to only that between a man and a woman. it also said, if you had a same-sex marriage in some other state, that and you moved to utah, they won't recognize that. indeed it bans not just, bans all benefits and things like that for folks with same-sex marriages or civil unions. they say that is also, we're not going to give any such benefits. so the plaintiffs, three different couples, challenged that it is a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and due process clause, saying essentially this is unconstitutional. it is a denial of equality. and, they won in the district court. and indeed, think there have been 31 or so cases across the
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country in the last two years, and challengers won 30 of those 31. numbers might be slightly wrong, restrictions have been upheld once by one district court a couple weeks ago in louisiana and about 30 different courts said no, that violates principles of equality. when a law gets struck down, any law, that is a big deal for a court. chief justice marshall, our greatest chief justice, said that is the most solemn duty of the supreme court to strike down a law as unconstitutional. it means even if the american public really wants that law they can't have it. it is off the table, even if it is 99.9% of people in virginia or utah or whatever want these same sex restrictions it is off the table. so it is something that is done really, you know, rarely and should be done rarely because it is an awesome power given to an unelected federal court. the plaintiffs here were able to convince the district court
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judge that it was unconstitutional. the utah restrictions. it then went up to the 10th circuit court of appeals which also found it unconstitutional. now the state of utah represented by its attorney general and governor have asked the u.s. supreme court to come in and say we have a right to pass laws we want. it is our political process. marriage is traditionally a state responsibility. it should not be up to unelected federal courts to decide who should get married and how. and they have some, they have some fairly strong arguments. they point out, for example, that the equal protection clause was passed in 1868 and nobody in 1868 would have thought that it, that it would be something that would prohibit states from banning gay marriage. of course the challengers say, well that is not the right way to look at it because those folks in 1868 also didn't belief
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in desegregated schools. they didn't believe striking down interracial marriage but of course the supreme court unanimously did that in 1967. so the equal protection clause has some evolving focus. the challengers also say, well, what is the reason for the law? sure, states you have prerogative in general to regulate marriage as you see fit but you have to articulate some reason for doing so. and in the states reasons they find lacking this is one in which the states in general have had some difficulty coming up with reasons. some of the old reasons like procreation and stuff have been pretty discredited by the social science literature. so that is one of the interesting facets about these cases. non-the less, the case, when the 10th circuit ruled and struck down the utah ban and put the decision on ice. they said supreme court we'll wait for you. that is where the law stand in
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utah right now. we as challengers did something rather unusual, as i say, the governor came in and say, we want supreme court to hear this case. even though we had won the case in the court of appeals, we told the supreme court the same thing. we said, supreme court, we won. we're confident we can win again before you. give us a hearing. grant this case. and let us have our shot in court and win a nationwide ruling. right now it is an intolerable situation if folks are in utah they can't have their marriages recognized even if they lived in another state and had to move to utah for work or something like that. so you had a patchwork regime state to state. nobody has certainty. so the idea behind acquiescing in the tertiary petition and in the documents that the utah government has filed is to say let's just resolve this thing once and for all. the second case comes from oklahoma. that is a case also coming from the 10th circuit.
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interestingly here however, the issue is only one thing instead of two. it is only whether or not oklahoma can prohibit same-sex marriage. it doesn't have the recognition issue, issue of someone being married say in california and moving to oklahoma. for that reason the challengers have suggested their case is even better than the utah case because it is a little cleaner, ownly one issue instead of two. and they're represented by the gentleman who won that cell phone case i was mentioning before, jeffrey fisher of stanford law school, enormously talented advocate. the third, fourth and fifth cases are trio of virginia cases. these are all cases brought by the clerks in the state of virginia said look, virginia law restricts marriage to that between a man and a woman and we don't want to give these licenses to same-sex couples. the virginia attorney general, because of a election switch, has refused to actually defend
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virginia's law saying it is unconstitutional, so the clerks that are defending the law. they are before the court also saying, take our cases. the fourth circuit court of appeals, which is virginia, maryland, north and south carolina and west virginia, they should, that fourth circuit decision struck down the virginia law. they're saying the fourth circuit decision is wrong and the court should hear that that set of cases. you have two remarkable lawyers, ted olson, who was president bush's solicitor general, who has over the years, marriage equality is his battle and battle of the country. you have paul smith a lawyer in private practice who argued the lawrence versus texas case a few years ago which struck down bans on sodomy restrictions. struck down bans on sodomy as unconstitutional. enormously talented legal team there. finally two cases from indiana
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and wisconsin. these are cases, very similar to those before which you have both marriage restrictions as well as recognition question of people moving into states and whether those are recognized. the interesting thing about the, about the virginia, excuse me, wisconsin and indiana cases is that the opinion author for the court of appeals to strike down these prohibitions in wisconsin and indiana was a guy named judge richard posner, appointed by president reagan. considered quite conservative jurist, libertarian but conservative jurist. he just made mincemeat of the arguments that the case was putting forth in both oral arguments and written opinion. it is a very powerful and very short opinion and one is suspects give some al anything to the challengers of these bans so he is not biased at all on any of these. we should know pretty soon what the court is going to do. justice ginsberg made some
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public states last week saying maybe, suggesting that the court might want to wait for another court of appeals, the sixth circuit which has a case from michigan before it, before the u.s. supreme court gets involved. they don't have to take anything. one of the greatest powers of the supreme court, is the power not to decide. so you come in and you heard before a, point about how the court has a diminishing docket. the last year they decided 67 cases. 20 years ago they decided 150 cases. they get 10,000 case as year. really hard to get your case heard by the supreme court. they're always looking for reasons not to hear it. so they might say, look, let's wait. let's wait a little longer. but, you know there is a pretty good argument at this point in time the patchwork is such that people are living in an intolerable state of legal limbo. i think that is why you have this remarkable agreement by the two warring camps. all the states and governors and so on who are against same-sex
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marriage, and, all of the folks in the marriage equality movement bringing these cases, here is one point of unanimity. here is one point. supreme court, hear the case. >> neal, 31 states or so still have bans, is that right? >> i don't think it is that high. i think less than that. >> less than that. what are the chances that a ruling is made in any of these case that wipes that away? it ends any discussion that decides this definitely? >> if the supreme court gets involved in the case and grants the case, they will grant any of these seven, taking to resolve the issue. so the issue is 100%, the issue is granted, if one of the cases is granted it will be resolved. i don't think there is any wiggle room left. the court two years ago grant ad case from california which did present this issue but there was some wiggle room. they exercised their wiggle room. so we didn't get a decision. at this point in time the moment they take one of these, it is game over for one side or the other. >> any quick thoughts or
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questions? >> i mean the day that the supreme court decided windsor, the defense of marriage act case, won perhaps now with hindsight, naively, might have read the windsor opinion said this is really just about the federal government having to respect the choices of the states. but now you have judge after judge after judge saying wind sore made me do it. and striking down the state laws. isn't that sort of surprising? >> it is, it is a unprecedented number of state laws that have been struck down in the last two years. i can't think of anything in our lifetimes, perhaps ever in the history of this country in which you have had state law after state law after state law struck down so quickly. you're absolutely right. one thing brown versus board of education and supreme court said these state laws are unconstitutional in clear language. windsor didn't quite do that. you had to interpret windsor. you're absolutely right, judges
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of all political parties from across the country are interpreting it in one way to strike it down with one exception in louisiana. >> thanks, neal. another terrific briefing. leslie is up next. leslie will be talking to us about first amendment cases. leslie. >> thank you, john. i wanted to thank everyone at the aba and the wilson center here for putting on this event and all of you all for coming. thank you very much for being here. i'm going to talk a little bit about the first amendment. i think the takeaway so far for what the term looks like the supreme court is continuing its first amendment fatal attraction. we've heard about their diminishing docket and actually, i think on the first amendment side the supreme court sometimes grants cases where it is not very clear why they're taking it apparently given the outcome, they're not taking it in order to overturn a judgment from a lower court. there is no clear split. sometimes all of the lower courts have been agreed in the
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proposition that the supreme court ultimately endorses. it seems as though the roberts court never met a first amendment case it didn't like. really it is rarely met a first amendment plaintiff it didn't like. a couple notable exceptions are law professors and child pornographers. i don't know what that says about their opinion about law professors. this term they have actually taken a couple cases where a clear answer is needed. they're doing some hard work here, cleaning out some cluttered closets of the first amendment, places where lower courts are in disagreement and everyone is a little bit at. first of these is a state called alonis versus the united states. this is a case involving so-called through threats doctrine. little primer on first amendment law, a law, a lot of speech protected by the first amendment. there is a lot of speech that is not protected by the first amendment. this is a question when is threatening language and when is it unprotected? and here's the question that, in
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order to be unprotected, speech, in order for the speech not to be protected by the first amendment, does the speaker have to intended to threaten someone? or is it enough if a reasonable person would think that this was threatening language? so you have subjective intent standard where you ask about the state of mind of the speaker? or do you ask about what an objective listener would take away. just note this is not about whether you intend to carry out the threat or not? everyone agreed that is not necessary. do you have to have intended to make someone feel threatened? so this case involves a man, mr. alonis. i should say the university of virginia where i work, there is supreme court litigation clinic is representing him in this litigation. i'm not involved in that representation. so i am not here on behalf of mr. alonis today. he was convicted under a federal threat statute for some very choice language on facebook about his ex-wife and some other
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asorted individuals. i will not quote that language for you here. i think in the colloquial sense, many of us would say it was possibly threatening or at least say fairly disturbing. the question is whether legally it counts as a threat. so he was convicted under the standard that says, all we need to know is whether an objective person would find this to be threaten language. he sought review by the supreme court to settle a disagreement among the circuits by which of these standards is necessary. and, i've got to say, if you know anything about this area of law you might have thought this question seems familiar. you might have thought that the supreme court actually has decided this question before. in 2003 case virginia versus black, it dealt with the true threat standard and said things like threats are those statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful
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violence. or where it said that the statements must be made with the intent of placing the victim in fear of bod little harm or death. where it talked about intent for many pages. so you might have taken away the impression this was a subjective intent test but, you know, it is not clear that is actually what they were focused on in that case. . .

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